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The best things to do in Valencia

It’s already almost a week ago since we came back from Spain. How time flies! While I am trying to battle a ridiculous cold that I caught on the way back, it’s time to look back on our time in Valencia and give you my top tips of things to do and eat while you’re there.

While we were in Spain we stayed in Calpe and you might have read my things to do around Calpe already and make sure you check out where we slept in Palacio de Rojas as that is a big recommendation! Anyway, on to Valencia!

MERCADO CENTRAL

As mentioned, our hotel was fabulous and located within just a few hundred meters of the mercado Central. You cannot go to Valencia and not visit the market. unless of course you hate food. That would be a good reason not to go. But if you like food, make sure you spend a couple of hours here browsing the endless rows of stalls. And taste some of the goods while you’re there too.

Mercado Central, Plaça de la Ciutat de Bruges

Canalla bistro

I’ve got to be honest here. I hate the regular dinner times of Spain. Is it just me? Why do you go for dinner at 9 pm?? Anyway, I guess it’s a cultural thing that I simply do not understand or want to understand. I want to have dinner at 7 pm or – if it has to be – I can go sooner than that, but not after 8. Too late for me. But going out for dinner in Spain means you’ll have to live by the Spanish rules. Canalla bistro is a fabulous place with the most delicious food so that meant we had to wait for the restaurant to open at 8 pm to be able to go there. Truth be told: it was more than worth it. Still, I would prefer if they opened just that bit earlier.

Make sure you try the tempura veggies and the avocado roll. So delicious!

Canalla bistro zit Carrer del Mestre Josep Serrano, 5, 46005 València

Horchata

You can’t miss seeing Horchata everywhere if you’re in Valencia. You can buy it on almost every corner of the street. It’s made from the tigernut or chufa and is a little bit like most nutmilks. Not sure why it is such a thing in Spain. Chufa is not a nut by the way, just to get that straight, but the taste is kind of nutty. I’ll be sharing a recipe to make your horchata at home soon. If you are in Valencia you are best to drink the horchata in the Horchateria de Santa Catalina. Definitely the most famous. Make sure to eat it with fartons. Dip the fartons in the horchata and eat!

Plaça de Santa Caterina, 6, 46001 València

Federal cafe

If you’re looking for a really good coffee in a fun place than go to Federal Cafe. They have an outside terrace where we sat but the inside is also quite fun and filled with hip people working on their laptops or reading a newspaper. It just had that relaxed inner city vibe. And the food… well that’s pretty good too. I had the french toast and it was soooo good. Tom chose the breakfast burger and was a little underwhelmed. Not that it didn’t taste good, but I think he expected something else. There was loads of other good stuff on the menu too.

Carrer de l’Ambaixador Vich, 15, 46002 València

STUDENT AREA EL CARMEN

You might have seen really impressive street art already in Berlin or Miami. In that case you might be less impressed with the streetart you find in El Carmen. Still it is a cool place to walk around and soak up the atmosphere. There is some good stuff and walking around the cobbled streets in itself is fun too. Be sure to hit on the little places for a coffee or a beer!

TURIA CITY PARQUE

In 1957 the river that streamed through the city overflowed and cause major damage and havoc at that time. To prevent anything like that ever happening again they dried the river and instead created a city parc in that space. It’s big with a total of around 9 km in length and it is a lush and green area, where you can escape the heat of the city. It’s fun to just relax there and watch the endless rows of runners and cyclists pass by.

Endless terrace hopping

There is literally a new terrace around every corner you’ll find in Valencia. I don’t think I’ve ever found a city with more squares ever. And each one has one or more terraces, little bars and more. So you’ll be spoiled for choice. Apparently the most beautiful square in Valencia is the Mar d”avellanes patriarca with pretty orange trees. We went there and sure it is nice, but not sure if I would call it ‘the nicest’. Judge for yourself!

Sweets at Dulce de Leche

If you love sweets than it is definitely a good idea to visit the Dulce de Leche boutique. There is way too much to choose from so be prepared for a serious case of indecision. I know I had. Or try them all.

Carrer del Pintor Gisbert, 2, 46006 València

Paella at Casa Carmela

Apparently Casa Carmela is the place to try and authentic Valencian paella. We didn’t have time (as well, you cannot everything right??) but I hear it’s a really good place to go. Only open for lunch and make sure to make a reservation.

Aqua de Valencia

Don’t order this when you’re thirsty and expecting a glass of water as this cocktail is probably quite deceptive with wodka, cava, gin, orange juice and sugar. You’ve been warned!

NOG MEER TIPS:

  • On Sunday a lot of the sights are free to enter. That can save you quite a bit of money. Also some of the attractions open their doors for free at the end of the day.
  • The smallest house in Europe is La Estrecha with a total width of just 107 cm. Pretty small. We did find it a bit disappointing as there were large umbrella’s placed in front of the house obscuring most of it.
  • Turron is another local favorite.It’s a combination of caramel and nougat.
  • Buñuelos de calabaza you should really eat at Bunoleria el contraste. It’s a kind of fritter made with pumpkin. You don’t only find there in Valencia but also in Africa, Asia and latin america apparently
  • Coffee at Bluebell Company
  • Visit Estacion del Nord. A pretty old station. If you like old buildings you might like this one too!

Of course you can spend many more days in Valencia and not seeing the same thing twice but I’ve given you some of my top tips to start exploring Valencia!

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Simone

Travel makes my heart sing a little. I love discovering new flavors around the world. Finding the best budget friendly way to walk around a city, or where to go for the best pho when you're in Vietnam. You'll find it all here!

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Written by Simone
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